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BA to Ph.D?



Hi everyone,

I am currently a junior in my BA (history) program, and I recently realized that I need to be looking at grad programs for fall 2023 (my graduation is in the spring). My goal is to go into academia, and I want to pursue a Ph.D in history. I have read mix things about applying right to ph.d program without a masters, and my main interest in going right into that would be to save the money of the master (I know they are generally not funded).

How impossible is it that I could get into a fully-funded Ph.D program in History with only a BA? I have a high gpa (4.0 currently), and I go to SUNY Geneseo, which around Upstate NY is considered "prestigious" (although I doubt how prestigious it seems outside of ny). I would like to go out of NYS for it, and am open to going anywhere but the south (I'm a queer athesist so).

I realize this is probably unlikely, but I wanted to know the forum's advice.



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I imagine the answer to this question is very field-specific. In economics, BA-to-PhD traditionally was not uncommon. But it is trending away from this as undergrads increasingly work as research assistants for a few years before grad school. In health policy where I'm at, it would be extremely rare. Definitely something to have a sit-down conversation with some of your professors about. 

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@KinOfKafka, if you ever circle back to this thread, take a look at the History forum. There you will find conversations about the benefits and challenges of applying to doctoral programs with a B.A. as well as information on how aspiring graduate students can navigate an application season. 

Two points worth mentioning here. First, if you are offered admission to a graduate program with a B.A. alone, you will almost certainly have to earn a master's degree before reaching candidacy for your doctorate. You may have the opportunity to earn your M.A. by passing your qualifying exams but if you're in it for the Ivory Tower life, you may decide to produce a thesis or report.

Second, the study of academic history can be expensive. Even if you earn lucrative funding packages, fellowships, and grants, there are no true "free rides." Even if you're extraordinarily disciplined when it comes to spending money, brew your own coffee, and live at the interlibrary loan counter, there are going to be "life happens" moments and dozens (if not hundreds) of books and articles you have to have in your permanent possession.

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